It takes a lifetime to truly understand a community’s issues and the people that make it up, but that is just what Jim Gillio has done. Having grown up in San Benito County since the 1980s and raised in the agricultural industry, Gillio knows the true identity of our county.
As a child, Gillio helped out around his mother’s business, Gillio Farms, as an agricultural hand. After attending college, he continued working on the garlic farm – even helping day-to-day operations, keeping the lights on and making sure employees were paid on time.
Jim earned his Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Fresno State University. This was the start of his career in law enforcement; while attending Fresno State, Jim served as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for Fresno County. After finishing his degree, Jim came back to help his mom run the family business and volunteered as a Reserve Officer with the Gilroy Police Department. Gillio then answered the call to serve full time in law enforcement and joined the San Benito County Sheriff’s Department as a patrol deputy.
In 2000, Jim returned to the Gilroy Police Department, where he held a variety of positions: a gang investigator, on the hostage negotiation team, as a field training officer, a watch commander, and with internal affairs – just to name a few. While serving in these roles, Jim was the Commander of the Administrative Division and oversaw a $17 million budget. In 2011, Gillio attended the FBI National Academy, where he worked with over 200 classmates from more than a dozen countries. After 15 years of service, having achieved the rank of captain, Jim left the Gilroy Police Department in 2015.
Returning to his roots in the agricultural industry, Jim and his wife started a local small business in Hollister, Central Ag Supply. Jim is the general manager, and they offer personal protective equipment, tools, and janitorial supplies.
In April of 2017, Jim was appointed to represent District 4 of the Hollister city council. Since being on the City Council, he has prioritized public safety, economic development, and improving infrastructure. He wants to make sure San Benito County is welcoming to residents and all new businesses.
I grew up in the county off of Santa Ana Valley Road and love our county. I have a history of providing outstanding customer service in all of my endeavors. I will bring my strong municipal budgeting skills from managing the City of Gilroy’s public safety budget for many years as a police Captain, leadership skills from managing and mentoring over 60 employees and training at the FBI National Academy, grant writing skilIs, ability to build consensus and most recently City Council Experience and will work tirelessly for the residents of San Benito County District 4. -Jim Gillio
Jim believes that San Benito should prioritize providing public safety professionals additional resources. As a former law enforcement professional, he understands the need and importance of providing all first responders with the tools they need to adequately keep San Benito County safe.
With his background as a small businessman, Jim has used his time on the City Council to help support local businesses by cutting red tape and reducing regulations. This includes ensuring that the City of Hollister is in strong financial health to provide services for all of its residents. Jim understands that he brings a unique set of experiences from his time in both the public and the private sector. He has used these experiences to shape his decision making in all of his leadership capacities.
Jim Gillio was raised in Hollister and since 2003 has lived in San Benito County Supervisorial District 4 with his wife, Tricia and their daughter Alison.
Jim Gillio’s Priorities on Local Issues
San Benito County is strategically placed to have a lot of growth potential over the next decade. We must create forward looking plans that have this growth in mind and strategically plan to prioritize and to help us effectively manage this growth as and provide for updated infrastructure.
As a county, our elected representatives ought to prioritize a small set of issues in order to maximize the good we can do with our limited resources. As a County Supervisor, I would prioritize the following:
As budgets get slimmer and decisions need to be made on priorities, we cannot sacrifice public safety and first responders. Every department, from city’s police and fire to the Sheriff’s department, must have the resources to keep our communities safe and respond in a timely manner. The County should always be doing its part to provide basic services and public safety on the front lines.
With highway 101 running through our county, Highway 152/156 taking drivers from the coast inland through San Benito County and Highway 25 connecting us to Santa Clara County, San Benito County is situated in a unique geographic location to attract visitors as well as be the artery for residents. It is crucial that county government is working with all stakeholders in Hollister, San Juan Bautista, and the state of California to maximize all of our investments in order to attract businesses to the region. By adding businesses and commercial centers to our county, we can create more well-paying jobs that benefit every resident.
With an increase in commercial traffic comes the need for infrastructure improvement. No businesses or residents will want to move to the area if streets are in poor shape, schools are in disrepair, and housing is not made a priority. Developments should be supported if and only if they include an increase in open spaces and parks and funding towards traffic infrastructure, schools, and other needed projects. It is no longer an option to provide just any place to live. Now, families are moving in and out of community’s based on different housing options, vibrant restaurants and downtown scenes, and options for great schools – they are interested in where they can make a life for years to come.
As a small business owner, I have first-hand experience with balancing a budget and spending within my means. Sometimes, elected officials can lose sight of the importance of keeping government finances under control. In order to continue delivering vital services in San Benito County, we must be mindful of our spending and strive to balance our budget.
We must use the opportunity we have been given and take full advantage of our chance to encourage smart growth our county. We can make San Benito County an even greater place to live, work, and play but we must make tough decisions to focus on the appropriate areas and make the needed investments to set our communities up for success.